Every Action Has an Equal and Opposite Reaction

I’m not much of a scientist, but I did come away from my high school years with Newton’s third law burned into my brain. Yes, even though I probably didn’t pay much attention, even though I sneaked out of school too many times to recount; even though I smoked pot a bit, I did retain some grains of knowledge.

Lucky me! When you’re a parent, some of this scientific stuff comes in handy.

My daughter is 17, and her boyfriend is one year younger. Both are seniors in high school and are currently looking forward to going to college next fall. I like my daughter’s boyfriend. He’s quiet and doesn’t say much, but he’s polite to us and seems to be very kind and loving towards her. Although we’ve only known him for six months and she has some minor flaws, like being a slob and sometimes getting lippy, there’s nothing in a major way wrong with either one of them. They’re both basically good kids. We could have kids that are much worse.

The Daughter’s Boyfriend’s Parents, on the other hand, do not like either one of them, and especially don’t like them being together. I have to admit that my daughter is a cute, young thing, who often dresses in provocative clothing and (I think) wears too much make-up. The DBPs also thinks that she’s a snobby rich girl. We are by no means “rich”; we live in a modest suburb in a better-than-average home, but it’s not a mansion. In the past, my daughter has had wealthy friends who have jetted to the Rose Bowl one week and were off to France the next, but normally speaking, my husband and I don’t travel in circles like this. We own two businesses and are hard-working people.

The DBP are quite vocal about not approving of the relationship. The mother has held the fact over the Boyfriend’s head that he’ll still be a minor child when he goes to college in the fall, and thus wants him to study in a local college and commute back and forth to school. He wants to go somewhere where he can live in a dorm and be independent, but she won’t pay his way through school if he leaves, and technically, he can’t leave. Since he’s a minor, he also can’t apply for a student loan on his own.
My daughter is equally adamant about leaving the state, and she doesn’t care if the Boyfriend follows her or not. She likes him a lot, but she has dreams. Besides, she figures if he can stick it out for a year here, when he does turn 18, he’ll be free to go where he wants.

The disapproval of the DBP, I think, is a grave mistake on their part. The more they push the Boyfriend in one direction, the more he will pull in the other, with the same amount of force. My husband and I are smart enough to figure that this is young love and both of them may find many, many other loves before they settle down. That is why neither of us are pushing. If we did, we might find that the combined pressure from two sets of parents would make ourselves grandparents.

Newton’s Third Law has a way of biting you right on the ass if you don’t give it the respect it’s due.

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9 Responses

  1. Yes. Once again, you have illustrated why I adore you.

    I want to point out yet another possible outcome of being nice to a nice reasonable fellow who cares for your daughter. Things could work out between them in the long run and then you’ll have a good relationship with your daughter’s sweetie.

    That’s what happened to me.

  2. Sounds like your daughter is being pretty smart about this, too.

  3. You know, BGG, I thought of your situation as I was writing this. However, the odds would be against them, as I am sure they were against you and your sweetie. You’re the exception, not the rule.

    Thanks, KM! I hope she has inherited a bit of smarts. It doesn’t have to be a lot!

  4. You are dealing with this in exactly the right way, in my opinion. Again, I have a similar situation. My son is going to go off to university after this year, and has a girlfriend one year behind him in school. They spend far too much time with and talking to each other, to the detriment of all else, really, so there are times when I would like to forcefully push them apart. I agree, though. Any interference or pushing will have the opposite effect. In all likelihood, the relationship will run its course, and if not, I hope they will be very happy.

  5. I had to remind my hubby of this, when his oldest brought home a fellow with pink hair and so many piercings it’s a wonder he didn’t leak.

    We had him over for dinner, and he made a pass at her younger sister. Poof! No more freaky boyfriend.

  6. I know you and your hubby are handling this just as it should be handled. You are so right about kids being contrary. Leave them be, withing reason, and things will take care of themselves.

    I feel sorry for the boy! I’m sorry his parents aren’t smart enough to figure this out like you did.

  7. I just stopped by to wish you a deadpan Christmas, but now I will also tell you that BF can totally apply for a loan on his own. I’ll tell you more about that later if you want.

  8. Hey, cool, Wanda. Do tell!

  9. Love the use of Newton’s Law. So true.

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